Rather than having two separately catered dinners this semester, one with an Italian theme and the other one consisting mainly of seafood, Holloway Commons (HoCo) instead hosted the Italian Costal Cuisine dinner on Wednesday, April 19, that essentially combined the two dinners into one. By the end of the night, approximately 3,200 individuals attended the specialty dinner, which is a notable uptick from the dining hall’s weeknight average of 2,500 people.
In organizing the dinner, HoCo Executive Chef Christopher Kaschak said he sought to combine the multitude of this area’s local seafood with “an Italian flare,” and while he said he’s been working on the project for a month and a half leading up to Wednesday night, he noted that the actual preparation of the dishes began within the past week. In order to ensure freshness, according to Kaschak, most of the seafood products were prepared on either the day before the dinner or the day of.
Kaschak remarked that his staff had to hand scrub, boil and sterilize 3,600 scallop shells that they then proceeded to stuff with local clams, scallops, shrimp, oregano, parmesan cheese, garlic and a little bit of bread crumb.
Other notable items on the menu included grilled swordfish with salmoriglio, pesto shrimp ravioli, seafood oreganata, among other such options.
Themed pizza for the night included calamari and arugula, prosciutto and fig flatbread, and margarita; an immense amount of
garlic bread was also made available to patrons—“the kids love the garlic bread,” Kaschak said.
The LED-lit table, located on the bottom floor of the newest section of HoCo, was deemed the Community Table of the dinner, and featured an assortment of fresh fruit, such as sliced lemon, strawberries, grapes and clementines, along with fresh cheese including provolone, gorgonzola, cheddar, mozzarella and fontina, and lastly, an arrangement of bread and rolls.
Kaschak highlighted the meatballs being offered out of the stir-fry area as being “delicious,” and noted the station’s title as being Now That’s a Meatball.
Desserts at the dinner included tiramisu, mini connolis and an assortment of gelato flavors.